John Boyer, one of our guides for the upcoming vision fast in Wyoming, taught us some aspects of the Lakota people’s vision quest ceremony. The first stage of the vision fast is called “Decision Road.” This is part of the severance or preparation phase, in which we make the decision to commit to the fast—to fasting for a vision for our people.
On June 10, 2005 I set out on the drive to Boulder, Colorado, where I would be meeting my classmates at Naropa University. I felt like I was truly on Decision Road. The sense of sacred ceremony that I had felt on the medicine walk lived in me still, and imbued my road trip with the same feeling of magic. Two nights previously I had a dream in which John had recognized my abilities and acknowledged them publicly to my people. There had been a romantic element in the dream as well, which had filled my heart with gladness. Although I forgot about the dream soon after, the sense of warm-heartedness from the dream also imbued my journey.
I left Monkey Valley at about 3 in the afternoon. As I drove east along Highway 3, I could feel my identities and attachments peeling away. I had a vision of cords dissolving—the cords that bind me to my people. It was dark when I decided to make camp at the Johnston Creek Provincial Campsite, about 45 minutes east of Osoyoos. I hadn’t made it out of BC yet, but luckily I wasn’t in a hurry. The campsite was near the highway, but there was a noisy creek between the campsite and the highway, which eliminated most of the traffic noise.
It only took me 35 minutes to set up camp in the dark, and in the rain! I was pleased. I used my car (the yellow Tracker), a picnic table, and two trees to hold up the tarp. I meditated in my car for 40 minutes, while it rained, and then tightened the tarp cords before climbing under and into my sleeping bag. I read in bed a little, and a moth came to visit, attracted by my flashlight. Then I saw a small mouse-like creature running silkenly towards me, then dart under the car. So I had a visit from mouse too! My dear friend.
I thought back over the trip so far. I’d been feeling a great deal of pleasure while I was driving, sometimes very intense. An intimate singing aliveness in my body. A short distance after Princeton I began to smell sage through the open car roof. I pulled over at the side of the road, and went to see it more closely. I gave Reiki to the sage and asked permission to take some of its leaves for sacred purposes. It smelled so good. I smelled each leaf as I picked it, and gave Reiki to each plant I picked from. As I left I picked up a piece of trash. I looked up and there were two rainbows hanging against the mountains across the highway. What a beautiful sight and gift! Then I saw that the driveway I’d parked on belonged to the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. These people had hunted and fished on the land at and around Monkey Valley. I felt that they were blessing my journey. A gift from my people! What a wonderful start to my trip. The rainbows lasted for a few minutes, and became double and triple rainbows—three or four of them as I drove along. Decision Road is the beauty way!